“Bearer of the Morning- The Life of Te Ata Thompson Fisher” Documentary Now Available

by Chickasaw Nation Media Relations Office

Release Date: March 01, 2018

The true story of a Chickasaw woman who persevered to fulfill a mission of sharing Native American culture with the world is available now on DVD and Blu-ray, during National Women’s History Month.

Chickasaw Nation Productions documentary “Bearer of the Morning – The Life of Te Ata Thompson Fisher,” traces Mary Thompson “Te Ata” Fisher’s path of changing perceptions and negative stereotypes while advocating the preservation of Native American cultures.

Through storytelling and performances, Te Ata devoted her life’s work to sharing and promoting Native American culture worldwide, during a prolific career which began in 1919.

Chickasaw Nation Gov. Bill Anoatubby said the documentary is designed to share Te Ata’s story and her impact on American history and culture.

“Te Ata was a great ambassador for Chickasaw people and for all Native Americans. Her performances helped others better appreciate the positive contributions of Native Americans and helped shape cultural understanding in this great country,” he said.

Born Mary Thompson in Indian Territory in 1895, she later married Clyde Fisher, director of the Hayden Planetarium in New York.  She was best known by her stage name “Te Ata” (Bearer of the Morning), during her long and distinguished career entertaining audiences across the globe.

Using archival footage, family interviews and Te Ata’s own words, the documentary offers a rare glimpse into Te Ata’s personal life and mission to share and promote Native American culture worldwide.

Filmmakers scoured museum archives across the country while researching the project.

The film includes never-before-released footage of one of Te Ata’s performances and rare video footage of Te Ata’s performance at Hyde Park, New York, for King George VI and Queen Elizabeth.

In addition, several members of the Thompson family share intimate stories of the famed Chickasaw storyteller in the documentary. History scholars and longtime acquaintances of Te Ata also provide unique insights into Te Ata’s 60-plus year career.

Her dedication to educating children and quest to serve as a Native American ambassador is also detailed through personal stories, photographs and rare video footage.

Narrated by Peter Coyote the approximately 60-minute documentary was produced and filmed entirely by Chickasaw Nation Productions.

“Bearer of the Morning – The Life of Te Ata Thompson Fisher” is available in March on DVD and Blu-ray.

To purchase online or to find a local retailer, or for more information, please visit chickasawfilms.com.

About National Women’s History Month

The United States Congress declared March as National Women’s History Month in 1987 to recognize, honor and celebrate the achievements of American women.

The 2018 National Women’s History theme “Nevertheless She Persisted: Honoring Women Who Fight All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.”

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